In just 15 minutes, the U.S. Mint reported it had sold out of the Harry S. Truman Coin and Chronicles set on June 30, despite the Mint’s 5-sets-per-household order limit.
The set had a product limit of 17,000. It contains the first ever reverse proof Presidential dollar, a 2015-P, a Truman Presidential medal and a 1973 8-cent Truman stamp.
The high appeal of the set was conferred by the reverse proof dollar in it, which is the 10th reverse proof U.S. coin ever produced and first in the Presidential dollar series.
Price of the set was $57.95.
The Mint was caught unawares by the quick sellout. On the day afterwards, it issued a statement explaining how it arrived at a 17,000 maximum mintage.
It said that the prior offer for Franklin D. Roosevelt had not even reached sales of 14,000 in six months.
But the Roosevelt set didn’t have a reverse proof dollar in it. That made all the difference.
My experience in ordering five of the sets was that process was quick. I was on the site by 10:30 a.m. Central Standard Time, half an hour before the set’s release in my time zone.
I had fully paid off my credit card the day before so there would be no delay in ordering due to a credit card issue. It turned out to be a wise decision because the sets sold out faster than I imagined.
At 11 a.m., when sales officially began, I refreshed the store page, placed my order for five sets and confirmed my shipping and credit card info.
By 11:15 a.m., the set was listed as currently unavailable and a remind me button was in place. This is standard operating procedure for the Mint and usually means most of the product has been sold but more may be available later as returns are processed.
I then received a confirmation email for my order at 11:24 a.m. and, as of July 1, my order status was on hold.
Sources online state that the Mint then briefly offered the Truman sets again July 1 around 6:45 a.m. CST and were unavailable again just 10 minutes later. The online sources suggested that Mint may have gone through orders to remove those ordering more than the household limit and then placed those ordered sets back on sale.
The Mint said a total of 16,780 sets were sold in the first 15 minutes. The remainder was kept on hand to fulfill exchanges.
The secondary market for the sets has already ignited. Online auction prices rose to nearly triple the issue price. Individual sets were selling on eBay for $144 to $150 and sealed boxes of five sets were going for around $650 to $670.
It remains to be seen if those prices will hold up by the time the next release, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Coin and Chronicles set, goes on sale Aug. 11. It will be followed by the John F. Kennedy set on Sept. 18 and the Lyndon B. Johnson set sometime in October. Those sets are also priced at $57.95. Both Eisenhower and Johnson have product limits of 17,000 sets while the Kennedy limit is 25,000. You can bet I’ll be waiting in line for those next releases as well.
See the Viewpoint "Reader tells of order nightmare" for the experience of a Numismatic News reader.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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